Lee County parents say new school bus location is not safe

Andre Senior

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Lee County parents say new school bus location is not safe

By Andre Senior. CREATED Aug 16, 2012 - UPDATED: Aug 16, 2012
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Parents inside a gated community called Stoneybrook could be gearing up for a battle with the school district.
 
"Four days before school we got a letter saying the bus stop had changed. It would no longer be in our gated community. It was going to be outside on Corkscrew Rd." said Cara Chazin, a concerned parent.
 
Dozens of parents packed a room at the Stoneybrook Golf Course to express their dissatisfaction with the school district's decision to now longer drive inside Stoneybrook to pick-up and drop-off their children.
 
There is roughly a mile difference between the bus stop location inside Stoneybrook and the new location after the corner of Corkscrew Rd. and Stoneybrook Gulf Blvd. 
 
"Stopped buses on a merging lane - on a merging intersection?? That doesn't make any sense," said another concerned parent named Andrew Richmond. 
 
During the Thursday night meeting, the group passed around a petition it plans to bring to the Aug. 21st school board meeting.
 
At that time, they will push the board to force the district to change the bus stop location back.
 
Newly-elected state representative Ray Rodrigues, who also lives in Stoneybrook, attended the meeting and is getting behind parents who was the bus location changed back.
 
"The key issue here in the safety of our children. And we do that as a group, I think the board will listen," said Rodrigues.
 
Stoneybrook is not the only gated community dealing with this issue.
 
Concerns coming from parents at more than a half dozen bus stops in private communities in Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Lehigh Acres.
 
The district says it is following Florida statute and school policy, which prohibits buses from entering gated communities, but those who attended the meeting, says that lives trump rules.